Download PDF by Macalester Bell: Hard Feelings: The Moral Psychology of Contempt

By Macalester Bell

ISBN-10: 0199794146

ISBN-13: 9780199794140

At a time whilst admire is largely touted as an angle of relevant ethical significance, contempt is frequently derided as a completely nasty emotion inimical to the glory we owe all people. yet whereas contempt is frequently brushed aside as thoroughly disvaluable, ethicists have had little or no to claim approximately what contempt is or even if it merits its grotesque acceptance. Macalester Bell argues that we needs to re-examine contempt's position in our ethical lives. whereas contempt might be skilled in inapt and disvaluable methods, it might probably even be a wonderfully acceptable reaction that gives the way of answering a number of missed faults.

Using a wide selection of examples, Bell presents an account of the character of contempt and its virtues and vices. whereas a few insist that contempt is often unfitting as a result of its globalism, Bell argues that this objection mischaracterizes the individual exams on the center of contempt. Contempt is, every now and then, the way of responding to audacity, hypocrisy, and different vices of superiority. Contempt does have a depressing aspect, and inapt types of contempt constitution a bunch of social ills. Racism is healthier characterised as an extremely pernicious type of inapt contempt, and Bell's account of contempt is helping us larger comprehend the ethical badness of racism. it really is argued that the way of responding to race-based contempt is to mobilize a strong counter-contempt for racists.

The booklet concludes with a dialogue of overcoming contempt via forgiveness. This account of forgiveness sheds mild upon the wider factor of social reconciliation and what position reparations and memorials might play in giving individuals purposes to beat their contempt for associations.

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Extra info for Hard Feelings: The Moral Psychology of Contempt

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So while contempt for a politician might 53. ” Anatomy of Disgust, 218. 44 W H AT I S C O N T E M P T ? involve failing to listen to his policy positions with an open mind, contempt for someone who was once a good friend may involve things like refusing to return her calls or deciding not to invite her to important celebrations. Contempt’s disengagement helps to explain certain asymmetries in our emotional responses that arise when we are in the position of observers rather than participants. Consider, for example, what Michael Stocker says about how our emotional responses to a given situation shift dramatically depending upon our perspective: Or consider another case: parking a car well out from the side of the road, rather than puling close to the curb.

While there is a tension between love and contempt, I would offer a different description of this tension. As Kolodny sees it, the love that characterizes friendship and romantic relationships is incompatible with contempt because this kind of love is egalitarian: both parties view the other as someone with equal status. Insofar as contempt presents its object as low or base, it interferes with the lover’s ability to see her beloved as her status equal. I’m not sure that love is quite as egalitarian as Kolodny seems to assume.

Russell, “Negative Results on a Reported Facial Expression of Contempt,” Motivation and Emotion 15, no. 4 (1991): 281–291. 27. ’” 31 HARD FEELINGS may choose to label expressions involving the unilateral lip curl as contempt simply because none of the other labels apply, or because the other terms have already been used for different facial expressions. 28 Other researchers have moved beyond the simple wordpicture matching tests. 29 While the data is certainly mixed, many now think that we have reason to characterize contempt as a basic emotion: contempt is, arguably, a unique affective response, found cross-culturally, which has a distinct facial expression.

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Hard Feelings: The Moral Psychology of Contempt by Macalester Bell


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